Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero punished the hosts rounding off scintillating counter attacking moves
VINCENT KOMPANY scored his first goal in 20 months as Manchester City ensured a convincing victory over Southampton.
The towering Belgian, whose season has been ravaged by injury, out muscled Maya Yoshida to nod home from David Silva’s corner 10 minutes into the second half.
Leroy Sane doubled their advantage 12 minutes from time as he slotted home Kevin De Bruyne’s pass to cap off a slick counter attacking goal.
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And Sergio Aguero added the final nail in the coffin when De Bruyne floated in a lofted cross to the back post for the Argentine to head in from close range.
Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the early exchanges but it was Southampton’s Dusan Tadic who should have opened the scoring but he blazed Manolas Gabbiadini’s strike over ther bar.
David Silva missed City’s best chance of the half when his right footed shot went wide when it looked easier to score.
Moments later the visitors felt strongly aggrieved they weren’t awarded a penalty when Sane went down following a challenge by Fraser Forster.
The referee decided that the England stopper got a touch to the ball and replays showed he made the correct decision.
In a game of little chances, Jesus Navas’ powerful effort was tipped over the bar by Forster and from the resulting corner Kompany headed home.
Southampton offered little in response and the introduction of Shane Long couldn’t inspire the hosts to stage a comeback.
As the hosts piled forward, City punished the free space with two excellent counter attacking goals.
FACTS, STATS GOALS & LOLS
- Love them or hate them – half-and-half scarves continue to be popular. One American woman bought six scarves for her entire family an hour before kick-off. But for the scarf seller, this was nothing knew. He sold seven scarves to a bloke a few weeks ago but his all-time record for one purchase is 19.
- Missing in central defence for Manchester City was John Stones. Pep Guardiola described it as a “small problem”. For Vincent Kompany, it was only his eighth appearance of the season and it would end up a memorable one.
- After missing the previous three matches due to injury, it was not surprise that Manolo Gabbiadini returned to Saints’ starting XI – but he did not have the effect he hoped.
- Pep Guardiola looked down at the ground in complete disgust when City missed a decent chance. An off-balance David Silva, although off balance, looked certain to score but put Sergio Aguero’s cross into the sidenetting.
- Guardiola jumped off his seat and let rip at the fourth official after referee Neil Swarbrick refused to give City a penalty after Leroy Sane was sent flying. But Swarbrick looked to have got the decision right as Fraser Forster got his hand to the ball and a corner was awarded.
- Vincent Kompany put City ahead – and it is his first City goal since August 2015. It was a 3-0 win over Chelsea when John Terry was replaced at half-time. Here, Kompany beats Ryan Bertrand to the ball following David Silva’s corner.
- Claude Puel makes a double substitution in the 60th minute and Saints fans jeer his decision to haul off Gabbiadini, with Sofiane Boufal coming on.
- A miracle happened. Claudio Bravo made a save! The under-fire keeper kept out at header from Yoshida for his first save since Burnley on January 2. Since then, Bravo had conceded seven successive shots.
- Sane worked hard and got the goal he deserved 13 minutes from time. Kevin De Bruyne deserves a lot of the credit for his fast break and square pass.
- It got even worse for Saints three minutes later. De Bruyne was again the creator with Aguero scoring with a header. It was Aguero’s 17th Premier League goal of the season.
Next five fixtures
25 Apr – Chelsea (A) – Prem
29 Apr – Hull (H) – Prem
7 May – Liverpool (A) – Prem
10 May – Arsenal (H) – Prem
13 May – Boro (A) – Prem
23 Apr – Arsenal (A) – FA Cup
27 Apr – Man Utd (H) – Prem
30 Apr – Boro (A) – Prem
6 May – Palace (H) – Prem
13 May – Leicester (H) – Prem
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Southampton: Forster 4, Cedric 5, Stephens 6, Yoshida 6, Bertrand 6, Davis 6, Hojbjerg 6, Redmond 6, Tadic 6, Ward-Prowse 6 (Long 60, 7 Rodriguez 82, 6) Gabbiadini (Boufal 60, 6)
Subs not used: Hassen, Martina, Caceres, Clasie
Booked: Cedric, Hojbjerg, Davis
Man City: Bravo 6, Navas 7, Kompany 8, Otamendi 7, Clichy 7, Fernandinho 7, Sane 8 (Sterling 86, 6) Silva 7 (Zabaleta 81, 6) Toure 7, De Bruyne 8, Aguero 7 (Iheanacho 89, 6)
Subs not used: Caballero, Garcia, Kolarov, Fernando
Goals: Kompany (55) Sane (77) Aguero (80)
STAR MAN: KEVIN DE BRUYNE
WHAT THEY SAID
Man City captain Vincent Kompany: “I am happy with the goal, it’s helped my team, but also happy with the clean sheet.
“For me, it’s always a long journey back [after injury]. I would have liked to have been injured less in my career, but when it happens I put in the hard work and it pays off. I am finally giving something back to the team. If I had to work 15 years to have just one moment like this I would do.
“Next up is the FA Cup – I love the Cup and love a derby!”